A secondary school has been fined £5,000 after a work accident saw one of its staff members hurt when falling 30ft (9.1m) off its climbing wall.
Stephen Painter had not been wearing a helmet and there were no padded mats at the time to cushion his fall in November 2011, a court heard on Thursday (February 20).
Mr Painter, employed in the PE department at Thornton Grammar School in Bradford, West Yorkshire, had been rigging ropes ahead of a lesson.
He had asked a workmate, David Ashmore, underneath, to give him some slack. But as he reached out to attach the next bit of rope to an artificial rock, the rock-shaped hand-hold spun, causing him to fall.
The school was prosecuted at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates’ Court following an investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).
The investigation found that no person was given the responsibility of overseeing what was happening with the wall.
Accident blamed on neglectful behaviour
But District Judge Susan Bouch said she was satisfied this potential for slips, trips or falls had been due to the school’s neglectful behaviour rather than a deliberate act.
The school said the wall was next on a list of priorities during its health and safety review when the incident occurred. It pleaded guilty to not ensuring the health and safety at work of its staff. District Judge Bouch also ordered the school to pay £7,500 costs.
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Source: Telegraph & Argus